THERE’S A QUALITY IN DAYLIGHT THAT ECHOES THE GLORY DAYS OF BMX. IT MAY STEM FROM OUR ARTISAN ATTENTION TO DETAIL, OR MAYBE IT’S THAT LEGENDARY HEAD-BADGE, BUT IT’S A QUALITY THAT DOES HAVE ITS ROOTS IN HISTORY — A LONG TRAJECTORY THAT BEGAN DECADES BEFORE OUR FIRST BIKE WAS BUILT AND LED DIRECTLY TO THE VISION AND GROWTH OF DAYLIGHT.
LIGHTING IT UP
Every great race bike started with one bright idea. The spark for Daylight ignited just this way for company founder, Richard Huvard, and a team of bike industry veterans he brought together to invent a new kind of American BMX bike company — one that would embrace the hand-crafted culture of the sport’s California origins while designing a BMX Flying Machine© that would light up the world of modern BMX and BMX supercross racing.
Daylight’s Brady O’Neil, 2023 USA BMX
Lone Star Nationals, Houston, TX.
Daylight’s Brady O’Neil, 2023 USA BMX Lone Star Nationals, Houston, TX.
THE DAYLIGHT DREAM
Most BMX stories start the same… kids dragging their parents to a track. I wasn’t one of those kids. I didn’t race BMX “back in the day”. I was one of those parents… 30 years ago this year when my oldest, Judson, discovered his love of riding at the local track. We’ve been a BMX family ever since.
That’s not to say I wasn’t into bikes. I grew up in a small Colorado town called Crested Butte where just by chance the mountain bike got its start. While the sport quickly evolved, for me the fat tires were purely back-country fun. Nor were bikes my business… yet.
After graduate school, I moved to L.A. to join my future wife Andrea and work in feature films with no thought of getting into the bike biz until a riding buddy who had opened a bike shop in Colorado called yearning for year long riding. Unlike me, Ted Saville was part of that first generation of pro MTB riders. “Come to Ventura County“, I suggested, imagining all those bike goodies at my fingertips! Together, we launched Camarillo Bike Company in fall 1993 and although I was only involved a few years, Ted, who was also an exceptionally skilled mechanic, shared a ton of knowledge with me and still works with us to this day building custom Daylight bikes.
Within a year, our shop’s BMX team had grown to 30+ riders — now including our two young daughters Hannah and Abbie — when Diamondback Bicycles (coincidentally headquartered in Camarillo) offered sponsorship to help reclaim their BMX roots. CBC/Diamondback took 3rd in the ABA Bike Shop ranks our first season after which we simply graduated into Factory Diamondback — 1995 -1999 — with what became a team of top national riders. By now, all I wanted was to go racing with the kids.
To feed the habit, I started freelance copy-writing until a few years later I found myself juggling more than ever as the Creative Director at a busy SoCal design agency and — after Diamondback had been sold — a partner at Redman Bikes and Team Manager of what evolved into the three-time ABA #1 Factory Redman-Yamaha Waverunner Team. Alongside my dear friend, the late great Mike Redman, we sponsored a who’s who of amateurs and pros, I listened and learned from a lot of knowledgeable BMX people, and I began to really consider what would make the best BMX race bike for the changing sport. Back home in Camarillo, Andrea and I had also opened Freedom Park BMX Raceway in 2004, followed by a new track-side bike shop in 2009 we named Gold Coast Bicycles, and we have operated both ever since.
“What I learned instead was that the bike I was determined to build would initially need to be made close to home in California—designed and fabricated without any compromise to the vision, with a premium finish that had to do it justice. “
Kids, however, do grow up and when Abbie left for college Andrea and I thought maybe this was the time to retire from the sport. Only we quite surprisingly had another child, Levi, and before I knew it we were back on the circuit racing “5 and Under Expert”! It was at one of those first national races back that USA BMX owner, BA Anderson, chuckled, “We’ve got you for life!” — then helping to seal that fate when he tapped my new design agency to assist with the sanction’s transition from the ABA to USA BMX, and to reinvent and redesign their magazine which we made into PULL. Suddenly, we were full bore back into BMX when I was also engaged by the new Taiwanese owners of Staats Bicycles to re-design and re-launch that brand. Everything in our BMX lives was seemingly coming together. Or more aptly—colliding.
While my years with Mike Redman taught me a lot about US frame production, Staats was to be a lesson in the overseas bike industry. What I learned instead was that the bike I was determined to build would initially need to be made close to home in California—designed and fabricated without any compromise to the vision, with a premium finish that had to do it justice. Standing at the rail at the Canadian Grands, alongside my US and Canadian Team Mangers, Tommy Jacobs and Jason Welikoklad, as we watched our riders win the Canadian Factory Team Title, I confided that I was leaving my current gig to start a new bike company. Tommy looked incredulous, “What the hell are WE going to call it?!”
I told him that I had been struggling with that until suddenly I was… seeing Daylight.
A week later Corben Sharrah serendipitously called looking to race for “family” again. He had been lured away from Redman after 10 years to ride for a couple of big bike companies but, having not quite lived up to their expectations, he had been unceremoniously dropped — only months before the Olympic Games. Of course, I’d take him. He had not only started riding for me when he was 9 years-old, but I knew he could and would be one of the best ever in the right program. That gave us less than 6 months to design and build our first Daylight, ever. When Corben won the Olympic Trials, the pressure really mounted until, a month before he was to leave for Rio, we finally had our first prototype frame.
Yes, the first official race for a Daylight was the Olympic Games!
Unfortunately, Corben slid out in the semi and didn’t medal in Rio. He did, however, go on to win the UCI World Cup Series and the UCI BMX World Championships on his Daylight that very next season. It was a Cinderella story 30 years in the making and in March 2017 we released the ARC c1 frames to the public.
In the years since, Daylight has evolved — designing and building the most amazing custom finished complete race bikes I never could have imagined that first day with Judson out at Sycamore BMX. Riders who started their careers with us as kids — like Molly Simpson and Amakye Anderson — are world class riders still with us today, part of our dedicated and cherished BMX family that continues to grow the world over.
Although Levi is off to college and will be racing less in the foreseeable future — and certainly no more kids will be on the way for Andrea and me — I think it’s still safe to say that BMX does indeed have the whole Huvard crew for life.
We truly have seen Daylight.
Richard Huvard, Daylight Cycle Co.
AN AUTHENTIC BMX BEAUTY BORN & BUILT IN AMERICA
Just up the Ventura Freeway from the birthplace of BMX, along the California Gold Coast, Daylight Cycles™ was born — a natural descendent of the pioneering spirit that drove our sport’s first BMX racers and builders. Ours is the same passion to win inspired by SoCal’s vibrant innovators and the desire to make every race steed we create genuinely beautiful and thoroughbred fast!
2023 Canadian Elite National Champion, 2023 World Championship Bronze Medalist, 2022 USA BMX #3 Pro Woman. 2020 Canadian Olympic Alternate
10x USA Cycling Elite National Champion, 2X UCI Elite World Champion, Olympic Silver Medalist, 3X Olympian, World Cup Overall Champion
2023 Canadian U23 National Champion, 2019 Canadian Junior National Champion
A RINGING ENDORSEMENT
Let’s be honest. We all get that professional athletes are paid to endorse their sponsors. Team riders ride what they’re paid to ride. A few, however, are different. Those are the racers who demand the best, even if that means passing up more — because more isn’t necessarily more, especially if the choice is to race a Daylight or not. For Corben Sharrah, the more important “more” has always been more wins. As one of the greatest BMX racers of his generation, Corben has always demanded the highest standards for his equipment and he’s been known to regularly walk away from sponsorship he could not wholeheartedly support. So as his sponsor, we couldn’t be more proud that he’s supported Daylight in return — allowing us to grow and go on this journey with him.
Corben, however, isn’t the only champion and Olympian who has made Daylight their race frame of choice as, just after winning her record 10th USA BMX Elite Women Pro Title, Alise Willoughby reached out and expressed her interest to be part of the Daylight family and ride the frame. Together with husband and coach, legendary BMX racing great Sam Willoughby, they decided it was time for Alise to get her wish to ride the best. That same choice has been made as well by the younger members or our Daylight World Pro Team.
Both Canadians Molly Simpson and Curtis Krey first joined our race program nearly 10 years ago as young amateurs. We always believed in them and this season they’re proving why — with Molly charging up the ranks of the UCI World Cup to establish herself as one of BMX racing’s top elite women. Like Corben, Molly was approached by some of the sport’s bigger teams but she believed in the value of her “BMX family” and in her Daylight bike — a belief that’s clearly paid dividends for her this year. It’s why we liked to say and can say that Daylight is the #bmxchoiceofchampions!